Vintage Industrial Shelves and Shelving:

Repurposed Industrial Furniture & Storage

Vintage Industrial Shelves and ShelvingCredit:

There are few interior design trends that are growing at a faster rate than the move towards using vintage industrial furniture in the home. Since storage is a challenge in most homes, vintage industrial shelves and shelving is a growing concern as people are looking for classy yet unique ways to keep their homes nice, neat and organized. Repurposed industrial furniture is not only amazingly cool, it is solid, reliable and utilitarian. But don't tell that to your friends!

This article is all about vintage industrial shelves and how to use them properly in your home. We'll talk about the proper placement and usage of these wonderful pieces, and how to decorate around them and match up your style. We'll also touch on the best places to find such pieces, and how much you can expect to shell out for them.

Let's get started and look at a few amazing examples of repurposed vintage industrial shelving!

What It Is and How To Use It:

Vintage Industrial Shelving

Vintage Industrial ShelvingCredit:

Vintage industrial shelving falls under the category of repurposed industrial furniture. Typically it's a type of antique that was originally intended for or actually used in an industrial setting. This means things like factories, mines, workshops and other blue collar applications. These pieces often have an amazing patina, not to mention a ton of history behind them. 

Vintage industrial shelves can often be recreations of the original thing. More and more frequently we're seeing reproductions pop up in shops around the world. The reason? This style is popular and growing, meaning an increased demand. Reproductions are a great way for everyone to enjoy the aesthetic without breaking the bank. 

Using Vintage Industrial Shelves In Your Home:

Using vintage industrial shelving isn't super tricky, but it does require a certain level of intentionality with your design aesthetic. If you have a household full of mostly modern and newer looking pieces, you might have some difficulty. These things will look best in a rustic, antique inspired or vintage setting. Lofts, apartments and brick homes often work really well with them, as brick and exposed beams will mimic an industrial setting. That said, they can look great in a cottage setting, actual workshop or den. 

Since vintage industrial shelving can be quite austere, they don't have to be the central pieces in a room. They will just hang back and blend nicely into a similar style as the rest of the place, provided you set it up just right. A few tastefully arranged storage cubbies and decorative items will really fill them out. 

Since they were originally intended for a practical work enviroment, vintage industrial shelves are often big, clunky, and unapologetically awkward pieces. This means that your tiny basement apartment might not be the ideal resting place for a big honking piece of furniture like this! Do measurements and use good judgement before making the purchase. 

Winsome Wood Folding 4-Tier Shelf, Antique Walnut
Amazon Price: $90.00 $61.60 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2016)

Where To Find and Buy:

Vintage Industrial Furniture, Shelves and Shelving

Vintage Industrial ShelvesCredit:

If you're really interested in this style of furniture, it can be tricky finding the perfect piece. By their very nature, pieces of vintage industrial shelving are unique and often one-off creations, indended for a specific usage in a manufacturing setting. This means that to find the right one you'll likely have to be prepared to do some searching. Here are some tips to track down the perfect one. 

Dedicated Vintage Industrial Furniture Restorers:

There are shops out there specifically dedicated to tracking down, refurbishing and reselling industrial and vintage furniture pieces, including recycled industrial shelving like we've talked about. The big advantage of these places is you'll know for sure the products are well restored and in good functioning health. Rotted boards are replaced and rust is treated or removed altogether.

The downside is the price tag. With all the work involved (and the demand out there), repurposed pieces of vintage or antique industrial furniture like this will cost you quite a bit. It's a trade off. 

Auctions, Warehouse Sales, Estate Sales:

It's amazing what you can find at industrial auctions, especially if it's a very old manufacturing company that's going out of business. Of course you'll have to compete with all the industrial furniture restoration buyers during the bidding, but sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough. 

Remember that vintage industrial shelving found at auctions and warehouse sales are often sold as is, where is. You'll have to arrange transportation and deal with any refurbishment required to get it back in shape. (Often they are dirty too, so expect to do a big clean in the process).

Antique and Vintage Furniture Stores:

There are lots of nice pieces of semi or fully restored examples of vintage industrial shelves, carts and other pieces of storage furniture in lots of vintage and antique shops. They sometimes don't know exactly what they have, and you can get it for a lot cheaper than you could from a restoration company. 

Still, there will be a markup compared to finding it at the source. You can typically negotiate with them though, so make sure to wear your haggling hat. 

Good Luck!

Whitmor 6070-267 Supreme 5-Tier Shelving Unit, Black
Amazon Price: $110.00 $69.40 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 15, 2016)